Action Project Report
Following two years of study and evaluation of funding sources at Western New Mexico University, the AQIP Funding Team has decided on the following recommendations after narrowing our scope of concern to those items that were within the University’s control:
§ Student recruitment and retention are primary concerns in the development of increased funding for the university. Some positive work has been done in the tracking of student persistence rates for freshmen and the creation of Academic Enrichment classes. The Funding Team recommends further development of recruitment and retention efforts with expansion into upper-class undergraduate levels, the graduate level, and Extended Education with the tracking of persistence rates in those areas as well.
§ The Funding Team recommends broader activity on the part of the university be pursued through the President in conjunction with the WNMU Foundation in increasing funding beyond state legislative sources by working with corporations and other business and private entities to secure financial contributions.
§ Consult with the newly formed Performance Measurement Process Management Team regarding appropriate revenue and funding measures related to this area.
The Team solicited input from a wide variety of offices throughout the university by means of a data request form, includes a mix of faculty, staff, and students as team members, and places minutes of its meetings on the WNMU web portal.
The holding of a "Funding Forum" has been proposed involving the President of the university and other administrators most closely involved with university finances.
Conduct a study of the funding dynamics of student recruitment and retention at off-campus centers such as Deming, Gallup, and Truth or Consequences.
The Team's experience suggests that in matters of university funding research, it is more productive to work from the top down than from the bottom up. Much wasted time and having top-level administrators identify those departments and offices whose input would be the most beneficial to the goals of the Funding Team might have saved effort. As it was, the Team pursued a process of elimination in determining where the best and most relevant funding data was to be found.
By narrowing its focus, the Team eliminated problems associated with barking up the wrong trees. Its remaining challenge would be the study of the funding dynamics of student recruitment and retention at off-campus sites such as Deming, Gallup, and Truth or Consequences.
During the May quarterly meeting, it was determined that greater team support in general would strengthen the various AQIP teams. The institutional AQIP facilitator will be working with us to provide this support.